Why Did PM Holness Move Against INDECOM? Is this a Sad, Dumb, Decision? … Unfortunate!
It was the 74th Annual Party Conference in front of a packed National Arena, consisting of some 25,000 green clad party supporters, diplomats, the media and a larger radio and TV audience that Holness choose to launch a broadside against the human rights watchdog who investigates police shootings usually of fatalities or other excesses. Holness complained that INDECOM went too far …
Ironically, it was the Bruce Golding administration that put into law the INDECOM Act. Golding was sitting on the platform not far from Holness (actually five seats away).
Holness said inter alia “The police were being demoralized by INDECOM” Is this true?
Enter Dr. Peter Phillips
Phillips will latch on to any opening as the Opposition Leader to log onto the apparent rift due to the apparent dumb comments of PM Holness at his 74 party Conference about INDECOM. Dr. Phillips is right … Holness went too far when he publicly threw INDECOM under the bus. What was Holness’ game plan? It was a dangerous gamble. What did Holness expect to achieve by putting down INDECOM,?. Was this cheap politics to win curry favour with the police force.? The Holness led JLP administration is in a fierce wage negotiations battle with the powerful Police Federation led by Raymond Wilson who has recently threatened to take the government to court over the ZOZO Act. Wilson has been bitterly opposed to INDECOM.
The JCF, JDF, and The Department of Correctional Services etc. are monitored by INDECOM.
It was a JLP led Bruce Golding government on our about 2010 that gave birth to a long promised police watchdog so named: The Independent Commission Of Investigation (INDECOM). The less than ten year old watchdog has made a positive impact at improving Jamaica’s human rights record especially as it relates to police killings. These killings dropped by 50 percent since INDECOM has been established.
Taken To Court
The Police Federation took INDECOM to court challenging their right to demand statements from offending police officers after fatal shootings of civilians. INDECOM won the case.
Hon. Peter Bunting MP the former National Security Minister in the Portia led PNP who represents Central Manchester has been a thorn in the flesh of INDECOM. Bunting even recommend that a body be set up to possibly supervise INDECOM. This never happened.
Today, Thursday November 30, 2017 we woke up to news that a Parish Judge McIntosh has chided the police in St. Catherine Jamaica W.I. for abusing the human rights of an accused male.
We make no secret about the fact that we support INDECOM. We frown on police excesses and abuse of citizens’ human rights.
We also support the police in its fight against criminal elements who may wish to terrorize our society. Rogue elements in the Security forces must be “held accountable,” Asserts Terrence Williams, Commissioner of INDECOM.
“The right to life” in a nutshell is what INDECOM is all about.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie SIC & Photojournalist for Vision Newspaper.